30 April 2005

This explains......................what?

Your #1 Match: ENTJ

The Executive

You are a natural leader - with confidence and strength that inspires others.
Driven to succeed, you are always looking for ways to gain, power, knowledge, and expertise.
Sometimes you aren't the most considerate person, especially to those who are a bit slow.
You are not easily intimidated - and you have a commanding, awe-inspiring presence.

You would make a great CEO, entrepreneur, or consultant.

Your #2 Match: ENTP

The Visionary

You are charming, outgoing, friendly. You make a good first impression.
You possess good negotiating skills and can convince anyone of anything.
Happy to be the center of attention, you love to tell stories and show off.
You're very clever, but not disciplined enough to do well in structured environments.

You would make a great entrpreneur, marketing executive, or actor.

Your #3 Match: ENFJ

The Giver

You strive to maintain harmony in relationships, and usually succeed.
Articulate and enthusiastic, you are good at making personal connections.
Sometimes you idealize relationships too much - and end up being let down.
You find the most energy and comfort in social situations ... where you shine.

You would make a good writer, human resources director, or psychologist.

Your #4 Match: ESTJ

The Guardian

You're a natural leader and quick, logical decision maker.
Goals are important in your life, and you take many steps to acheive them.
You enjoy interacting with others, mostly through work related activities.
Your high energy level means you are great at getting things done!

You would make a great teacher, judge, or police detective.

Your #5 Match: INTJ

The Scientist

You have a head for ideas - and you are good at improving systems.
Logical and strategic, you prefer for everything in your life to be organized.
You tend to be a bit skeptical. You're both critical of yourself and of others.
Independent and stubborn, you tend to only befriend those who are a lot like you.

You would make an excellent scientist, engineer, or programmer.

Today's Five Things

I have worked out that if I blog my five things, then blogging time doesnt count - haha.

  1. Take the three baby guinea pigs to the pet shop. This will involve chasing two children to get dressed in clothes that are actually fit to be seen (one wants to be Britney Spears and the other has Norman Wisdom's attitude to trouser legs), boxing them up (the guinea pigs, not the children, but its a thought), calling a taxi (we have no car), getting down there en mass and dragging the kids away again. This will probably also involve being the 'evil one' for the rest of the day.
  2. Come straight back and change the mummy guinea-pig's cage. It is foul, but I have hung back a day til the babies go. This is a horrible job when its overdue, but at least I wont have to leave kids watching too many creatures with a penchant for pooping wherever they are and hiding behind sofas, eating electrical cables etc. Uric acid does horrible things to the bottom layer of newspaper and this is going to involve scraping and scrubbing. Yuk.
  3. Go back out and do the weekend shopping.
  4. Wash the school uniform and put it away safe - its a long weekend, so otherwise, in this house, items are guaranteed to get lost before Tuesday.
  5. Looooooong, steamy, 'bugger off and ask your father' bath, where I will be UNAVAILABLE, even to ten year olds who think that if its urgent (such as wanting to know where the felt tips went) I can be addressed through a bathroom door. Gary has this way of looking at the sport on TV so sternly that the kids would sooner interrupt me than him, so I am not sure this one will work............

29 April 2005

Cosmic Classroom

I am having a bit of a revelation, at the same time as typing this blog and working my way through a bowl of instant noodles (brunch), so bear with me if this goes off at a tangent or conversely implodes. Ooh, a black hole of thought, yeah I think I have caused those before.

Excuse pause there, the noodles went from scalding to simply piping hot - so, first executive decision of the day, I scoffed the lot in double quick time, to get the bowl off my lap.

My big cosmic lesson from that last month or so looks like its going to be: a dose of humility.

This is how my head worked it backwards.

My 'to do list' is going to have to be a lot smaller than I had first envisaged. Part of the reason for it was to display it publicly in the house and start to re-educate my husband on exactly what it is I do at home all day (although, perversely, at this point in time he happens to be right).

I cant afford to pen a huge list and work like a lunatic, and courtesy of a long and beneficial support call, from a dear and sensible friend I have decided:

I have from 9.30am to 2.30pm to reasonably achieve anything in the order that I want it done - outside of those boundaries there are some highly maverick personalities in the equation, ie husband and two kids.

Knock half an hour out of that to eat, because in my fire-fighting, tail-chasing life as it is, I never get time to eat before taking the kids to school. Hence the brunch noodles.

10 am to 2.30 = 4 1/2 hours. My priorities are, at this point:
  1. All admin (bills, business, special needs assessments and the lot)
  2. Room to breathe and think (essentials - being able to see my desktop/the carpet/the bottom of the kitchen sink, knowing the kids scjhool uniform is sorted etc)
  3. Social education and reminders - blitzing the kids rooms, laying a spotlessly clean guilt trip in their usual sock and school-bag dumping spots, starting to be a bit firm about things (which I used to be, but not during the bleughs))
  4. My sanity. I dont know how many years its been since I had a totally guilt free, giggly hour of relaxation or silliness. Sure I've had them, but never since I first had kids have they been taken without a long list of other things I ought to be doing, running round in the back of my head and spoiling it. For the record, my eldest kid is 22. I havent had the sensation of nothing on my case, for 22 years. Blimey.
To that end, I am going to pick FIVE things a day to achieve, rotating the 'extra thing' around the first three types of work.

The big issue is that I cannot allow myself to dive into a single one of those needs and stay there until its all done. There are too many jobs within jobs, I have to be selective and pick the nigglers and biggies, or allocate a set amount of time to a set task.

Thats driving me nuts.

I know its going to work, but my revelation is not that I am a control freak (I am actually very laid back and open minded), but I AM a proficiency freak. If you could see my house you would fall over laughing at that statement, but its true. I allocate such an extremely high status to maintaining my self respect through being on the ball, in the know, aware of all angles, on time, ahead of time, prepared for anything and generally an administrative superstar, that faced with failure I stall, freeze, come to a halt, find myself overwhelmed. Talk about anal.

At some point during my childhood or shitty first marriage, or maybe even during the years I existed on a wish and a prayer as a single mother in debt and on benefits, I became a self-control addict. Possibly it was at one of the times when my good name and personal pride were quite literally the only possessions I could lay claim to. As the walls of my spiritual castle went into retreat to defend a smaller and smaller element of my life, so they became thicker and more impenetrable. I sunk my teeth into the concept of 'being capable' and forgot to let go.

This has caused me so much trouble! Every time circumstances have stopped me from performing miracles, looking back I can see how thoroughly and constantly I beat myself up about it. It made me inflexible to say the least, and that lack of fluidity meant that (as, for example, now), when life threw a curve ball and my plans fell down around my ears, I couldnt see where to start on the path back. As far as reliability, trustworthiness, dependancy and all those elements of my ego that I like(d) to kid myself were inalienable, I was an all-or-nothing kinda gal. Couldn't concieve of things being otherwise, so couldnt deal with 'otherwise' when it hit me. Most times it turned me into a short tempered, muttering, grumbling little savage who wouldnt sit still or let up until it was all back to 'my way'. This time, it seems to have drawn me to a complete stop.

So heres the new realisation: I aint so hot. Some militant part of my brain, that wants to disagree, is scowling at me like a schoolmarm with a big cane, even as I write this.
I think it looks like my mother, at least my mother when she used to raise one sarcastic eyebrow at me when I hadnt done my homework, the manifestation of my mother that told me repeatedly I was supposed to have gone to university and met a nice young man there; the one that peppered every statement with words like 'ought,' 'should' and 'potential.'

OK look, bugger that for now, I'll go dream-walking my past when I'm asleep, theres time for that. Right now I have to break a habit. Step one is to pick five naff, easy, achievable tasks out of the millions in the queue, and do them by 2.30. Of course the real trial in that is going to be forcing myself to feel like thats an achievement.

Let battle commence.

28 April 2005

Woah, Guess I Cocked Up

What is more depressing, do you think;
  • To be told you can't amount to much
  • To be told you have every Ace in the deck, except you can't find them / never used them?

Your Life Path Number Is 22


The Life Path 22 is the higher of the two master numbers, and the most powerful of all the Life Path numbers.

As such, it is also the most difficult to live up to and fulfill.

The 22 individual in endowed with many powers from within and they can reach any heights in life.

A truly positive Life Path 22 person, equipped with a suitable education, can be a master builder in society.

An idealistic nature is grounded in practical terms, allowing you to conceive grandiose, far-reaching schemes and carry them through to the end.

If you desire and are willing to work for it, you can achieve enormous success, prestige, and fame.

Obviously, everyone with this Life Path does not become famous, but you may have realized early in life that you have the capacity to accomplish a great deal with relatively little effort.

Several Life Path number possess special spiritual understanding, however, the 22 is unique in that this path has great understanding, but also the ability to apply knowledge in a practical way.

There is purpose to your life and you view your tasks and obligations in a very emotionally controlled and determined way.

Really negative 22 people are very rare.

When they do show up, there power is similar to positive 22, but motivations are in a negative vein and they are very dictatorial, insensitive, and overbearing.

The majority of 22 people fall into an average category who still have sufficient ability to reach great heights within their chosen fields.

The ability to control emotion may help in the business world.

This is a powerful Life Path, both for the material gain it can bring and for the higher good that is often achieved for mankind.

Seriously, which would you rather be called; limited, or wasteful?

I Double Dare Myself

Laurence, my ever patient friend and upline at The Utility Warehouse, went through a period (as did I) of extreme frustration at my inactivity.

Put it this way - I signed up in January. Already I have two people signed up beneath me and one of them has recruited, but I have nix, nada, zip in the way of genuine customers. Whatever you have heard of companies that use MLM, this one is based firmly on seeking and looking after customers, more than distributors.

I would gladly tell anyone who asked that this is a great deal from a safe, solid, reputable and long established British plc. The thing is that I havent actually gone out and about looking for anybody who might ask - life's little crises just got right in the way for the last ten weeks or so (three of which were the school Easter Holidays).

So, yesterday, during an extended phone call, which made it obvious that Laurence had thought long and hard about it, he told me that I wasnt achieving anything because I was too busy fire fighting - too busy with emergencies that demanded my attention to put any thought into things I'd actually choose to do.

I have to be honest, the mood I was in, I was biting my lip - it looked to me like I wasn't achieving because I just couldn't be bothered to do anything at all, whether it was a crisis or not!
This morning, then, fate stepped in and underlined things.

I overslept, by a good hour.

The kids overslept, too.

I forgot to turn the tumble drier on last night and their school uniform was all still soaking wet.

Imogen has swimming today but couldn't find her swimming hat. We all stopped to help hunt in and behind drawers and in all the improbable but possible places it might have got to. I saw sections of carpet I had forgotten were there. No joy.

Drier stopped, I got their uniform out, only to remember that Lewis had torn the crotch seam on his only pair of dark grey school trousers.

Hunt changes to looking for a needle and thread.

Twenty minutes later he has a bodge job mend on them, done with white thread and a darning needle from Imogen's cross-stitch kit (my fingers still hurt from forcing it through the close-weave trouser fabric).

So are we ready? No, we're flaming not. Lewis ran ahead with my door keys yesterday and let us all in. I forgot to get them back from him, and he forgot where he put them.

There are several surfaces in our house that are generally used for putting things down 'temporarily'. Catch 22 is they are all already thoroughly covered with 'temporary' things. Gary, my husband, is one of the worst offenders, with his tie and newspaper going on the nearest clear-ish top the instant he gets indoors. By clear-ish I mean that it could be covered in a three foot tall pile of laundry, but if theres a space to balance his stuff, that to him is good enough. It feels like he doesnt look in his wardrobe for a tie anymore, but round the spare sofa, on top of the treadle sewing machine, on top of the tumble drier etc. My whole house could be compared to England with its illegal immigrants and asylum seekers - so far behind with the paperwork that they are scattered all over the bloody place, either waiting for a real home or a trip to the bin; just hanging about, taking up space and resources and gathering dust.

We found the keys eventually- nestled in a pile of ironing on the spare sofa. By that time we had pulled the sofas out, emptied the top of the sewing machine and cleared two kitchen surfaces of cereal boxes and the like. The very next step would have been to disconnect and pull out the tumble drier to check down the back.

Half past ten this morning I got my two kids to school, an hour and a half behind schedule. I have been non-stop busy since eight this morning and what has it achieved?


Here I am then, two hours behind on even starting my day, totally confused about what needs doing first, demoralised and feeling like I have run a marathon already. Its like climbing up a glass hill in rollerskates and if anything could have convinced me of Laurence's point, this morning was it.

There, had my whinge, had my cup of coffee, off to make a very, very, very long list of all the really crucial things that I ought to have done already, so I can start crossing them off, if I can find the be-bothered.

The goal is to get to a point where I can write a short list each evening covering urgent stuff, necessary stuff, basic stuff, and treats /nice idea stuff, then spend the following day feeling increasingly smug and competent (hahahahahaha) as I tick them off.

I think, given a world paper shortage, I will have to start with just the screaming red-letter 'do-it-or-suffer-the-consequences' stuff and see where we go from there, but one thing I know, I need to whip myself, this place and the rest of the family into shape or I will go in increasingly backward circles until I dissappear up my own agenda, Thwup, braarp.

Of course, thats all very sensible in theory. Watch this space.

Update at 5pm.
Day's achievements: (from 11am) 1 hour blogging about how much time I have wasted. 2 hours in complete slump, telly watching, pottering, self pity and procrastination. 1 hour lost in the mists of time. 1 hour collecting kids from school, on foot; consoling, discussing days, separating during multiple attempts at fratricide. 1 hour relative peace with one kid on my computer and the other glued to the goggle box - so I got the washing up done and planned dinner. Now 5pm. Going to start dinner -this will take an hour and a half, clearing up included.
Conclusion: my only solid plan so far today - sit down at 6.30 this evening and make a solid plan for tomorrow. yeah, right, we'll see...................

27 April 2005

One Cheryl, Instructions For Use

This is a tricky model, needing plenty of TLC.
Can function on one week of broken sleep, but expect various systems to need a major overhaul if such misuse continues.
A low cost runner, it requires three meals a day but can survive without shopping for weeks or months at a time.
Generally manageable except during favourite telly program or last mouthful of food. If you must ask it to respond or exhibit cerebral capacity during those moments, use a long taper and stand well back.
Low performance, it can show bursts of speed but prefers to cruise.
Dodgy brakes; once well revved, do not allow to go downhill.
Comes fitted with internal diagnostic program. Brain occasionally needs a kick start, achieved by banging head on desk and counting to ten, sometimes augmented with extraneous use of foul language directed at kitchen walls, computer or other inanimate objects.
It is recommended that you schedule a complete service once every six months, revving all systems at full and/or switching them off completely. Be aware this may result in: abusive treatment of husband, cat, possessions; inability to give a flying fart if the house burns down.

Guess thats it then, I'm overdue a service.

26 April 2005

Erotic Massage

Lets face it, a decade into a marriage and we could all do with a few new tricks (as in skills, not customers).

One of the sites I found pretty useful was sexuality.org which, surprisingly, was recommended in a usually vacuous and fashion-centric womens online mag - you know the type - the sort that mentions a new nail varnish every week as the season's 'must have' at £25 a pot.

I digress.

There are some pretty good hints in the sexuality site, although it is still firmly rooted in a male dominated free-sex ideal which, to my mind, makes it rather funny. Just the fact that one of the 'moves' for a hand job is called 'climbing the mountain' gives that away, plain as day. How do you look a bloke in the eye and say 'This is called climbing the mountain' without falling over laughing and pulling the 'mountain' off in your rigid little fist, in the process?

I try not to imagine who these people are because all I can think of is a bunch of middle management types, hairy and paunchy and rather too full of their own imagined prowess, all working to a list of 'how to's whilst taking turns to lie on the massage couch. All a bit doctor and nursey for me, I think I would probably spoil it all by wetting myself (and the nice couch) either laughing or in horror, depending on who was smiling from between my legs. Which makes me wonder which poor sod gets to clean up afterward, or whether they have found someone with a kink for that sort of thing, willing to bring their own industrial strength rubber gloves.

On the upside, given that they (allegedly) use all these methods of yanking, tweaking and tickling to some success in a rather bizarre one-wank-fits-all situation, it has to be imagined that well, in most cases, one wank really does fit all, in other words that in most cases the techniques do work. If you want a few ideas to bring back to your relationship, rather than a lesson in other people's very weird worlds, then sections 3, 7 and 8 are the ones you might find useful.

And thats precisely the point where I think its time for me to shut up, don my dark glasses and look of haughty martyrdom like an aging starlet, and decline to comment.

24 April 2005

Sweet and Simple?

lip kiss
kiss on the lips - you're sweet and simple but
quite daring. you move for the kill confidently
knowing the other person wants the same thing.

What Sign of Affection Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I am NOT sweet, I am bitter, maybe even sour. I have worked at it for years and vinegar has nothing on me - how dare you!
As to being simple, aww gawsh, if you say so! Come closer cos I am a bit thick, and tell me which end of this knife is the pointy one..........

Message to Annie at Retrotype

Dear Annie

you have a really funny blog! What you still dont have is a blog that lets me comment, nor an email address so I can let you know.

I really hope you find this - and keep writing!

The Gruardian

Whoo hoo! I went off on one in my post yesterday (I am the first to admit that political blogs are one huge yawn), completely avoided blogsurfing or otherwise picking up 'hits', yet I still garnered two comments.

And the first one was from MsMac!!!! I mean wow. Ten years younger than me, ten times funnier and more energetic - I imagine she would, in real life, be one of those women who is bubbly, funny, cheeky, likeable, and only has to stand near you to make you feel grey, droopy and menopausal by comparison. She also has great taste and I have to agree with her that Jeremy Paxman has a certain je ne sais quois.

At the moment she is - Tana!!! winner of Whatevasista's Blog of the month. He's one funny sarcastic son of an Englishman so worth a visit too.

Ms Mac is ALSO basing current posts on comments from others. I haven't felt clever enough yet to try and join the queue, but it might be very advantageous to leave her a nice comment.

Right, comment number two was from Tavis Pitt - LOVE the piccy in your profile, Tavis, although the black and white makes it look a little retro and makes me wonder if its a currrent representation. He gave me THIS LINK which lists a few (unchecked and therefore possibly fictitious) alternatives to the website I used in my last post.

The thing is - oh dear, Tavis - you read the Guardian?

The Gruardian / Gurdian is reportedly infamous for three things:
  1. It is allegedly constantly full of spelling mistakes
  2. It is the paper of choice for British school teachers and none of them notice the spelling mistakes.
  3. BIAS!!!!!!!!
If you ever get hold of a Guardian newspaper, first read a catchy headline, then read all but the last paragraph of the article. You will find a balanced, unbiased commentary on a given situation that in NO WAY relates to the inference given by the 'shock tactics' used in the headline. Then read the last paragraph, where traditionally it's favoured reporters make a final, personal summary of the information they have so delicately reported, that involves complete and utter personal bias, almost a backstabbing. The funny part is that you may easily read the main body of the text and come to a completely different conclusion to the evil little byword tacked on at the end by an accomplished reporter who suddenly instead looks like a nasty, small minded bigot. Allegedly.

Still maybe the online version is better, but if ever you looked at the majority of British schoolteachers and saw them as bored, repetitive, disinterested, self involved and overpaid whingers (particularly secondary school ones who see their job as holding a discussion with a white board by copying out the same class notes they used for the last five years whilst a procession of silent unnoticed little faces file in and out of the background (and God help the kid who actually needs to be noticed)) then a good read of the Guardian only underlines that view. IMHO.

Have a nice day, now!

23 April 2005

Lib Dem It Is, Then

Really grateful to Annie at Retrotype (Happy Birthday, Annie!) for pointing out WhoShouldYouVoteFor?, a brilliant site where you can find yourself surprised at what your own politics boil down to.

I may have come out more Green than anything, but I already knew I would vote for the Liberal Democrats this time round, not just because it really is a three-horse race this time and they have a real chance of winning, but because I watched Charles Kennedy being grilled by Jeremy Paxman and there wasn't even a flicker of maintaining a public face - in spite of Jeremy's best 'attack dog' efforts to dig dirt, there just wasn't any to be found - Kennedy came across as completely honest, completely able to put credit where credit was due, totally committed to his principles and presenting a manifesto he actually personally believed was moral and right and just and best for the country, rather than one peppered with tactical charm policies - you know the type, the ones that blatantly offer cash to a certain demographic.

The other two parties are far too good at wink-wink nudge-nudge bribery of the masses. Sorry boys, same as we question our GPs and headmasters, we're just not that stupid and subservient anymore. Believe it or not, we can judge for ourselves what is moral and right.

None of Labour's cash-back goals can be taken seriously, IMHO, because given the amount of debt the country is in, it would have made no difference at all if they had given pensioners or newborns half the cash they are now waving like a carrot, from the word go. So what if Aunty Flo died last winter eating bugger all in a freezing flat because of the wacking great Council Tax, this year vote for the same guys who let that happen and Bingo! Miraculously there will be a £200 Council Tax rebate for Grandad Joe. Putting £250 into a savings account for baby will just mean that in eighteen years time there will be another expense like schooling that they can start charging for because hey, we all know the kid has the money. And in the mean time you can fool yourself that your precious child will go to University, and even be able to partially afford it.

The Conservatives are on a hiding to nothing - the local would-be MP's main promotion point is that we shouldn't vote for his Lib Dem opposition because it means we'll end up with Tony Blair again. Sorry mate, this time around I really dont believe it - and thats a piss poor selling point. Not a word of 'I would be good at the job because', just a schoolyard finger-pointing exercise.

The Conservative 'cashback' offer is to do with house prices, because of course we all know that for a Conservative to even notice you exist you have to have the cash for a mortgage in the first place, which wipes a third of the population or more out of the equation.

The other good thing about Lib Dems? Charles Kennedy (and Norman Baker and all the others) have been active in the heart of politics all these years, listening to both sides, taking in all the information, and free to design policies that actually do the Country some good, without having to worry about which section of the population would come running for their pick from the sweety bag.

Both the Conservatives and the Labour Party are openly saying, to our faces, that we are incapable of taking a long term view of the health of the Nation without some sort of softener, that we are not so much involved in whats right for as all, as whats right for me me me, and my pocket, my hobbies, my imagined lifestyle. They are calling us selfish, self involved, small minded and stupid. And that gets up my nose. More than that, they are saying it of themselves. You can only ever convince yourself that 'everybody is like that' if you're like that too. Cannabis smokers say everybody smokes dope (well everybody that counts). Adulterers will tell you everybody's at it, also.

Anyhow back to what started this - heres my result from that Poll:
Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome:

Liberal Democrat

Your actual outcome:

Labour -37
Conservative -24

Liberal Democrat 51

UK Independence Party 30

Green 63

You should vote: Green

The Green Party, which is of course strong on environmental issues, takes a strong position on welfare issues, but was firmly against the war in Iraq. Other key concerns are cannabis, where the party takes a liberal line, and foxhunting, which unsurprisingly the Greens are firmly against.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

22 April 2005


Well, I see my last post got a huge vote of 'who gives a', which suits me fine. So far, since spewing it onto the page, I have had two independant and unrelated friends surprisingly admit how their lives seem to have fallen apart recently and one has pointed me to information that Mercury was in retrogade until the 12th of this month (communication all gone wrong), and in Aries (ie communication about anger, action, urgency all gone to pot) hence the higher number of evil acts over the past month etc. Apparently.

Whatever you think of astrology, I agree there has been a sense of frustration everywhere you look, which is nice, because odds are nobody noticed your particular meltdown if you had one, being too busy dealing with their own.

So, where has this got us?

POOR Jennifer over at the hysterically funny Inside My Head has removed all her posts for the time being. A nice, sensible and now very embarrassed youngster at her work found it by googling on Jennifer's real name. NOT a good idea to have your real name related to your blog, really.

Thats another reason why my own blogs are rarely about real life even though it means I can never really cut loose (note 'coward' in profile), because it can come back and bite you on the butt and, like Jennifer, I used my real name. At least my name isn't actually part of my blog address, T.F. I mean I could tell you that most of my exes are extreme weirdos, one now with modifications; that I once knew a drug dealing wife beating paedophile (well I didnt know thats what he was when I met him but sure as hell knew most of it by the time our paths hurriedly diverged), that I knew a man whos penis was thin enough to string it with onion rings (and no, that wasn't me, that was a girl some refer to as Sparky, because she shaved off her eyebrows and they never grew back barring two little firework like tufts either side of her nose), that many of the people at my last job where karmic time bombs, but no. I mean how many death threats can a girl be asked to anticipate?

Rare and special, Jennifer managed to touch on her real life without making any character assasinations at all, but still maintaining a very funny and interesting blog. So she's way nicer than me; hey, I'll live, but I'll live happier if she sets up again somewhere else.

PLEASE pop over to Jen's and tell her she HAS to set back up at another site and let us know where she is. ((((((Jen))))))))).

20 April 2005

Uh-Oh She's Swearing Again.....

I am feeling decidedly ratty today, grumbly.

This probably has a lot to do with the grey-green fog of illness that has sat, fat and demanding to be fed, in this house since Christmas. As with the rest of the world this year everyone has had colds, viruses and the general bleugh for five weeks at a time, on a sort of haphazard rota system. Of the four of us at least one has been throwing up or coughing all through the night pretty much constantly. Yes, I know, same everywhere. We havent so much arrived at Spring, as slid through a sorty of musty, slimy re-warming of assorted dreaded lurgies that clung maliciously to the trees and municipal nooks and crannies across the world since autumn last year.

Anyway, I guess I must be waking up. This has caused a sort of hybrid urge to attempt Spring cleaning and a terrified realisation that I havent had my head on the right way round or my brain the right way up since the year started. Its that feeling of being five months late with your school homework and as my world proceeds at a stately and relatively inactive pace I begin to get this underlying sensation of an irreversible walk to the gallows, with ocassional flashes of falling off a trapeze with no safety net. Panic, basically, and that never makes me cry, it always makes me furious, and if I'm not careful, a bit anal - intense, unfunny and rather peculiar. Stressy, pushy, and 'Woah, step away from the mad woman!'

Like PMT, I tend to kill a few people and alienate several thousand more before realising what the cause is.

So there you have it - self diagnosis today is that I am not funny, not clever, very silly, in some sort of indefinable trouble / deep shit and so far from organised that I don't know where to start.

The name of this bloody blog is pissing me off big time. It was started as the scary concept of making a private diary that somebody else might see. I succumbed to humility and tried to make a naff and apologetic joke of the title. Cringe. It will stay as it is for a good while, however, because I am so disorganised that I need to find the house under the detritus before I can forge a system, before I can work out who I am, at which point I might work out what I want to say (if anything) and therefore what I might call this blog. Apart from 'A Pile Of Shit'. That feels like a perfectly good name for it today, but by tomorrow it would probably look like another hot, brown and smelly little pile of self deprecation instead.


19 April 2005


Imogen is my eight-year-old saving grace. A little odd, for our family, she is amiable, affable, easy going, forgiving, hopeful, friendly, patient and all the rest. She wanders round in her own little cloud of quiet optimism and is the reason that her brother was tested for special needs, instead of the family being tested for hereditary insanity.

Look at Lewis on his own and I would forgive you for thinking he is being dragged up by a mother who only remembers him every so often. Look at him side by side with the perpetual winner of the annual 'most likeable child' competition at school, and you see things in a different light.

To be fair I do worry that Imogen excels at nothing except being happily and unobtrusively in the background, and that her constant certificates for 'smiling' or 'caring' or other mannerisms are hastily made up by teachers who cant remember a thing about her except that she never goes against the flow.

She's not Pollyanna (thank God, I think I'd puke), but heres an example, today.

Imogen has repeatedly told us that she has after-school Art Club this term. She has been excited about it constantly for a full term, since January when they first discovered it was oversubscribed and split the children into two groups. She has been particularly emphatic about how much she is looking forward to it, on Tuesdays. It was going to be Tuesdays.

Today was to be her first day, as no school clubs reconvene on the first week back after a holiday. It was her sole topic of conversation all the way to school this morning, and........... it turns out they split the group into two HALF terms. She has walked past the teacher leading the class every day for six weeks before the Easter break and the bloody woman has never once mentioned it was Imogen's turn already.

We only found all of this out after scouring the school, thinking she had got the wrong room, when we finally went and asked the secretary.

Imogen went grey and very quiet, you could see the total heartbreak and panic on her face, the disbelief. She tried not to look at anybody at all on the way out of school.

Tears? Just one, and that only when she quietly mentioned that she wouldn't get to finish her picture, the one she had started on the first day, before they split the group; the one she had been finishing, in her head, every day for the last fourteen weeks.

So know we are going to try starting a bucket for papier mache and maybe, if I'm really unlucky, do a bit of salt dough as well. What else could I offer? How could I not offer? She's sitting there, waiting for me to finish typing, looking all renewed and hopeful.

Here we go............

18 April 2005


Your Linguistic Profile:

40% General American English
35% Yankee
15% Dixie
5% Midwestern
5% Upper Midwestern

And there's bloody ridiculous for you - I speak English English. Well OK there's Welsh heritage in there somewhere, plus an upbringing on the outskirts ov West Lundun (Sour-fall) plus the best efforts of Rural Sussex to make me sound like the 'self-proclaimed posh' bastard offspring of Saxon invaders and a bunch of shipwrecking smugglers.

But I digress.

Why can't Americans just give up and admit they speak American? They have internal dialects, as do we Brits, but surely by now its obvious that the two countries have separate languages, albeit with very recently shared heritage.

Come on lads, cut the apron strings properly - you know you want to!

Educating The Nation

Dermot Murnaghan

Breakfast TV this morning, dear old Dermot has just announced an article on attacks on firefighters. They are going to be looking at the case of one who was "shot at by an air pistol" and speaking to one who was "attacked by bricks".

God bless the BBC, last bastion of proppa Inglish, innit.

17 April 2005

Pholph's Scrabble Generator

My Scrabble© Score is: 18.
What is your score? Get it here.

Thanks to zazzafooky for finding this - a very funny lady who, rather obviously, scores lots more than me with all those Zs.

And if anyone can tell me why my beautiful scrabble tiles don't show up, I'd be well chuffed. Is it Firefox, Blogger or just me?

Gone Completely Potty

Hahaha. There was a woman blogger who intrigued me - a New Yorker in the UK (plenty of them, so anonymous so far), she still seemed particularly anti-British and a little full of herself, but I thought this was perhaps too OTT to be true and therefore satirical. Hey, don't be sarcastic - Americans can do satire - even New Yorkers, if you explain it, I'm sure.

Anyhow her latest entry was about the woes of having to leave the bed for the bathroom and announced that she had designed a potty for adults (rather flat looking I thought, so it could have been a bed pan) anyhow, it had an animal face on it and was, she said, going to emit sounds of encouragement, it was going to say 'Thank you'.

Sarcasm, yes? Toilet humour? All very tongue-in-cheek?

I was her first commenter. I expressed ROFL and suggested a bucket might be nicer as you could at least put a lid on it to hold in the smell, that or not drink so close to bedtime - I thought I was joining the spirit of the wind-up.

Sadly, it seems she meant it! It seems she didnt appreciate my humour either! My comment is nowhere to be seen and I guess it was summarily deleted. She does, however have 53 comments (53? She never gets that many comments) saying what a 'brilliant idea' it is. I don't remember this bit before, but now the bottom of her post says she has patented it. That HAS to be a joke, some woman patented and failed to sell talking potties a few years back, even though hers were aimed at your more usual po-filling toddlers the concept is the same.

I give up. Some people are just so far up their own backsides they think people want to know they like to toot and puddle in bed, onto a teddy bear thing that says thank you. Mind you, if you're into all that on another level, there are some specialist websites out there - and I bet a rubber bear is easier to clean than a fluffy one......

She is right off my list; not because of her personal preferences, but because I think people that delete comments when they werent meant as an insult are just scummy. As scummy as a potty with limescale.

Tiscali Vs Telecom Plus

Lets be honest, although the UK Utility Warehouse (Telecom Plus) is floated on the stock market, winning prizes and all that jazz, they keep their prices low by NEVER ADVERTISING.

The only ads you will ever see are paid for by local distributors, most of whom (I am told) are over 30 years old and became distributors through using the product first - you find a really good, money saving deal that works just as well or better than the brands rammed down your throat on the TV all the time; reliable, established and all that jazz, and you are going to tell people anyway, and thats true of anything - shoe shops, supermarket pizza, hairdressers, whatever. "Ooh, you have got to try this!" etc etc. If you are going to rave about something whatever happens, you may as well get a little financial 'thank you' for introducing people, and thats how Telecom Plus does its business.

Its great, it means they rarely if ever get an executive on board who isnt dedicated to the products - they are all happy end users rather than salaried staff. It also means they hit the 'never heard of you' wall, a lot.

Sky TV do something similar for everybody, with gift vouchers when you introduce a friend. Every business, one way or another, pays for the recommendations that come their way, even if they just plain recommend themselves by spending a couple of hundred thousand quid on a glossy, catchy TV advert and a few thousand more on billboards.

Back to my point - people can be like cattle - they go for the latest thing advertised, whether or not its the best deal, because its there in their faces and looks sparkly and attractive. Advertising is designed to do the thinking for you, so you dont have to.

Take Tiscali - its got to be true that their broadband packages 'can't be beaten', because it says so on their website. If it wasnt true they would be in huge trouble, as competitors would be having complaints upheld left, right and centre. So what does that statement mean to you? That they are the best on the market? It shouldn't, because there is nothing to say that they can't be EQUALLED. No-one is, in any case, likely to offer a completely identical package. Every end user is different and its silly to think along the lines of one-size-fits-all.

I love Tiscali's new adverts - funny, clever and (rightly) concentrating on their biggest selling point, how CHEAP they are. Even the Utility Warehouse, that saves money hand over fist by never advertising, comes out at 1 and 2mbps at £4 or £5 more expensive, per month. Okay, with that you get unlimited downloads, free modem, 10 email accounts with anti-spam and anti-virus and 15MB of web space. You also then get the option to have all your documents backed up every night for a piffling extra £3 a month. Swings and roundabouts really, yes? It all depends on what you want.

I am, however, always suspicious when a company that is well known and well established suddenly pays out thousands and thousands to advertise a product that they have had for a while - why wasn't Tiscali's big push at the outset of the deal, instead of the middle of it?

If you look closely, Tiscali had a few users on their residential tarrifs (as opposed to business ones) that used the 'unlimited' package to full effect - and because of that their services are no longer unlimited, but capped. For many people this wouldnt be an issue, but for those who like to download music or movies, its going to be quite annoying, I should think. On the mid-range package, for example, you get a limit of 2GB a month, and on the top one, 15GB.

Still, if you download more than that at those connection speeds, Tiscali doesn't want you, and they are happy with that. It just peeves me slightly that they should suddenly start advertising all over the place. Are they trying to drown out the bad news? Are they trying to recoup customer numbers, having kicked a few to the kerb for 'excessive' usage of an 'unlimited' package?

I honestly don't know.

By the way, yes I chose Telecom Plus, and yes I distribute, but generally locally, to friends. I dont have any revoltingly pushy marketing tools like an opt-in list or any monkey business like that. If you cant find what you want on the link, above, but want more info, please email me. Just if my email isnt showing on my profile, give me a minute - I have to go set it up.

15 April 2005


is a
Crow-Eating Cheat Monkey

...with a Battle Rating of 8.9

To see if your Food-Eating Battle Monkey can
defeat MadBaggage, enter your name:

Monkey Business

is a
Cake-Eating Librarian Monkey

...with a Battle Rating of 3.9

To see if your Food-Eating Battle Monkey can
defeat madbaggage, enter your name:


is a
Fish-Eating Proboscis Monkey

...with a Battle Rating of 5.0

To see if your Food-Eating Battle Monkey can
defeat madnaggage, enter your name:

I think I might have to change my name.

[But it still means I lose to SheWeevil, whatever! Hic, sob.]

My Will (If I lived in America)

If I enter a hospice as patient, or have any form of medication, nourishment or life support removed from my person or provided in less than sufficient amounts AT ANY TIME during my treatment, then my entire estate is to be divided amongst those of my relatives who fought against all such deprivations in a proven court.

If none of my family actively support my wish to be healed rather than allowed to deteriorate, then I bequeath every penny to the cats protection league.

On no account is quality of life subsequent to treatment to be a factor, life itself is to be the only consideration. Moreover I refuse to pay for any hospice care or end of life care where continued life (of whatever quality) was a viable alternative. I leave the bill for that, in its entirity, to whichever of my relatives made the decision which is against my wishes, during my incapacity.

13 April 2005

12 April 2005

Once Upon a Time

Well I told you I wasnt running with a full load at the moment, and proof is that I misread a post at Michele's and rattled of a sarcastic (and badly spelt) fairy story into her comments, instead of on my own blog or by email.

Still its a fun little contest, still open to entries, if stories that end with 'happily ever after' are your thing.

The blog is also jumping right now with two posts that need their own server just for the comments, its one busy place to be!

Do you have strong opinions about adult female beauty pageants? I do, I feel that they are reliant on advertisers, who are reliant on the air space given to them on the TV, in which case it honestly does mean that if you ignore them, they will go away. I also think that cheerful and complete indifference is a nicer thing to teach our children than the other two options - physical inadequacy on the one hand and how to be outraged until you get ulcers, on the other.

Disagree with me! Plenty do - but they're doing it over at Michelle's and you can too. And if you like to be validated (or outraged) pop over and read the comments here and here - talk about variety!

Well, I had a giggle anyhow.

11 April 2005

The Sensible Thing

Well, I'm ill, again. This has been the worst year yet for colds and viruses lasting a minimum of four weeks, everybody's illnesses seem to be lingering on and on.

I won't go on about it - I have one of those ripping sore throats, the sort that feels open all day, tastes vaguely of blood and is a whole new experience akin to firewalking if you have to cough. Oh yes, and heres the funny bit, I've lost my voice. Its been gone for about four days now since those two late nights, and makes the occasional cameo appearance as some sort of flutey, reedy, multi-tonal effort reminiscent of The Diva. Trying to shout at the kids sounds more like playing silly buggers with a synthesiser.

Anyway, I am definitely a sandwich short of a picnic at the moment, not firing on all cylinders etc etc etc.

So here's a little story 'like wot I wrote' before I was ruff and barking. If I've posted it before then sorry, like I said, the lights are on but no-one's home.

The Sensible Thing

Andrea wasn't the sort to nag, rather such a quiet, forbearing type that people would hold her up as an example. She and Joe had the perfect marriage, everybody said so.

Joe was practical, a man's man; friendly in a blustering sort of way and always happy. Life was easy, straightforward, and if he wanted something done, he just did it. Some thought Joe a little blinkered, but no-one had a word to speak against Andrea. She was the sweetest person and between them they were welcome anywhere.

Of course they had their differences, but not so many recently. There was a fine balance now; Joe had all the answers and Andrea scuttled around him doing things his way. Happy times.

Last year the dog died, mangy mutt. Andrea adored it, said it kept her company. They buried it in the garden, and that was that.

How was he to remember that her rose bush, the one he dug up yesterday, was the marker for the damn dog's grave? He'd stuck the shovel through the carcass. Half decomposed dog, everywhere. Andrea cried, but he made her help clear up, throwing parts at her across the garden, to the patio, then making her hold them down while he used his tools to reduce it to manageable parts. She had dutifully watched every move. Then they'd bagged it up and done what Joe felt was the sensible thing, got rid of it down a storm drain.

Today Andrea washed the tools under the garden tap and put them away neatly in the shed. She felt better now, after several more quiet trips to the drain, the last with bottles of bleach to remove all trace.

A smile crossed her face as she reached into her pocket and felt his watch and wedding ring.

08 April 2005


This is a steam valve post, asbestos clothing recommended.

Not last night, but the night before, we had a power cut. It happened at midnight long after my husband had gone to bed (he's not really an old fart - he gets up at 5) and as I was doing a last few things on the web, very slowly and stupidly, because by that time of night I usually have my eyelids propped open with matchsticks.

I forgot to mention - if Gary gets up at five, I am up by five thirty, as his idea of tiptoeing round is to find six or seven reasons to come back into the bedroom, half of them requiring the light on and a lot of under-the-breath grumbling.

He also leaves all the other lights on, washes his hair, bangs around in the kitchen and watches a bit of Breakfast TV news 'quietly', and if that doesnt grate on my nerves until I get up, then he has the knack of leaving the bedroom door 'almost shut', you know, that position where the latch hits gently against its casing with no perceptible rhythm. Its like chinese water torture or that moment in some TV shows when they announce the winners after a looooong pause. It drives me mad. Just as I am beginning to relax and think it wont happen again - tap!

Funny thing about me - I am great in a crisis, I'm a real gumboots girl, the bigger the disaster the better I cope; practical, optimistic, caring, a whirlwind of positive activity and support. Its the little things that turn me into the demon bitch from hell.

Anyhow, the powercut; the lights, the computer, everything went off with a pop at midnight, on a very dark night. This is a family home (well thats a nice way of putting it) and its the Easter holidays and this is not the sort of place, at the moment, that I would invite anyone to. OAPs and the blind wouldn't stand a chance. My left thumb is still sore, probably from fumbling in the dark for a wall corner that was closer than I thought, but how my insteps survived plugs and plastic toys is anybody's guess.

Mercifully there were smelly tea lights left out on the fireplace (there are a few strange advantages to not putting things away, it seems) but with all the streetlights off and the total darkness, it was a game getting there. I only have ceramic tealight holders and it was too far to go to the kitchen for a saucer, so the light I managed to create was very dim indeed and, held close, seemed to being a better job of scorching my corneas that casting any illumination on the room.

It was at this point, in absolute silence, that my ten year old son woke, crept to the front room and walked straight into me. I have never been so terrified in my life.

So, with him sticking close in a move-your-elbow-and-he'll-have-concussion sort of a way, and by the light of a quarter inch flame deep in a china pot, I found the electricity cupboard which doubles as the coat cupboard, checked the readout on the meter at the furthest darkest most flammably packed corner, ascertained that there was no power coming in to the house (before realising, doh, that the streetlights weren't on, so I could have guessed without checking), fumbled to the other end of the house, found the phone book, found the emergency number, rang it very slowly using the keypad like braille, got an automated message giving me another number, rang that, and found out that 'men were on their way but no-one had any idea how long it would be'.

Oh great.

By this time its about twelve thirty, so I take the limpet slowly back to bed, tuck him in, have a short, urgent, whispered argument with him about why I can't leave a naked flame in his bedroom just to make him feel better; trip, stumble and fumble my way out of his personal plastic soldier bombsite and into my own room, half wake the other half to let him know his alarm clock isnt working (he's really good at waking up without it, so long as he knows he's without it) and collapse gratefully into the beckoning pit. The last irritation, I believed, was the waxy scent of the tea light after I blew it out, which remained right beside me on the bedside table, just in case, along with my lighter.

You know that glorious, overtired feeling when there seems to be an age between ticks of the clock, and in each space muscles rush to unwind and meld with the bed, sleep hormones flood your body so that breath by breath there is less of it still feeling like its attached to you..... bliss.

Tick...spine unlocks,....tock...warmth sweeps over,.....tick....legs are asleep,.....tock.....head goes fuzzy, ...tick....."Mum?"

"Er, mum?"


"I'm scared"

(in gruff, slurry voice) "Don't be daft, go to sleep"




"Someones outside with a torch.......... I think we've got burglars"

So what did I do? I got up, of course, went to the window and had a look. No torches, no burglars, but a (battery operated?) burglar alarm on the house opposite is dolorously winking a tiny white light, normally completely unnoticeable. Gentle conversation ensues, whilst husband lightly snores and occasionally adds to the suspense by appearing to be about to grunt or snort instead.

Waking Gary up is NOT a good idea. Once he's awake, he's awake and he lets you know about it, all night. He could enter the world championships for solo prostrate mattress trampolining, and the grunts would make a weighlifter proud.

This is going on a bit, so, anyway, settle son down, settle self down, count to ten and start again.

End result: at five to one in the morning even Gary (who's half awake impressions of Father Jack ought to be legendary; fuck, bollocks, grrr....) agrees to let the sprog share our bed for the night, for the sake of reduced peace rather than none at all. So I'm lying there waving one arm about in the air and using my lighter like a Barry Manilow fan so that son can crash and stumble toward the light. He gets into our bed by climbing over the end and walking up the middle.

Five minutes later the lights come on.

This ought to be the end of the story, except that the house was immediately lit up like Battersea Power Station and involved me (who else?) getting up and going round turning things off.

Son goes back to his own bed.
Son decides he's still a bit scared of the dark now, gets back up and turns his bedroom light back on.
I lie there trying desperately not to notice the warm yellow glow from the hallway,
And the power goes off again.

When it was finally repaired at coming up for 2 am we were back to three in a bed, son and husband both sideways trampolining in the search for space and me clinging to the mercifully solid edge of the mattress like a spare plank.

5.30 am yesterday morning I woke to find Gary fumbling for socks, one overheated child making his unconscious way to the middle of my pillow away from the cold patch where his dad threw the blankets back, and the cat on my head, or rather nested at the top of same pillow, pretty much in my hair. I didnt even have an inch of space to roll over.

Yesterday wasn't so bad, considering. OK I was on auto pilot, a few million more braincells than usual refused to fire up, I probably made some serious bloopers and I was aware of a slight shiver of muscular fatigue, all day. Being a mother strips you of all pride however, particulalry pride in your ability to function as a member of society, so I slipped back in to new-mother-zombie-mode (once learned, never forgotten) without a flicker of guilt or shame at functioning at the level of a mental patient.

Catch 22 with autopilot, for me anyhow, is that my body clock defaults to the previous day's settings, in other words last night I was wide awake until 1 am and half awake until sometime around 2, again, and today I am a little more irascible, a little more inclined to feel that the world and I should be back up to speed, when we're so obviously not.

Perhaps this wasnt the best morning to decide to answer an email I had tactfully ignored until now. Perhaps today would be a good day to remember that I have the capacity to kill people and destroy lives and relationships with the demure lifting of a single eyebrow, and put a conscious effort into refraining from exercising it, irrespective of the feel-good factor.

On the other hand theres an eclipse today, which my friend Annie says is like a full moon with knobs on, so maybe we are all a bit twitchy and my own private meltdown will go unnoticed amongst everybody elses.

Eclipses are to full moons as guys are to women.

Get it?

After all, they're just big girls, with knobs on.

07 April 2005


Does My Bum Look Big In This?

Badaunt runs Present Simple, my first feature blog. Before we start I have to say that I think of ALL the people I like as being intelligent, witty, intellectual, all grown-up versions of the word 'nice', etc, so I have barred myself from using any of those words as a picture search because (particularly in this case) they would fit perfectly. Sadly my early efforts failed to get any pictures at all for the kind of word pairings I had in mind here such as forgetful cynic, foget sarcastic or postage irony and I had to simplify. But you get the picture, or not.

Bizarrely the cartoon here was the second item on pages of gifs and jpgs suggested by Google for the words 'gift relative'. Sorry that doesnt sound very creative, BadAunt, it's not my fault, it's Google's.

BadAunt is a New Zealand born English teacher living and working in Japan, teaching University students. Her blog covers everything about educating Japanese teenagers, bureaucracy, home life, the expatriate community; plus priceless items such as the discovery of a shiny new and abherrant tin of Golden Syrup in a Japanese market, and what precisely she did with said syrup once she got it home.

Check out her walking octopus - seriously freaky, like something out of Spongebob Squarepants, but real.........

Go giggle, and please, post a comment there and say Hi from me.

A Bit Of Fun

I am jumping the gun on a fun game about to be played over at Michelle's incredibly popular blog.

Heres how my version goes:

  1. I will go down my list of links and past commenters and pick one of you at a time
  2. I check out your site and pick one or two words that I feel describe you
  3. Then I do a Google search for images, using those words.
  4. Then, (good bit) I will post a bit about you and your blog, with those pictures, however inappropriate they are!
  5. It would be nice if everyone who wants to play could then pop over to the chosen blog and say Hi in the comments there.
  6. Chosen person then: a) gets me back and b) does the same for at least three people on their list.
Sound like fun? If it works I will systematically do this for everybody in my links and all my commenters, so say Hi, below if we havent met yet and you would like to play. The great thing is, you could be 'done' by several people and it would always be different, it depends on the descriptors each of us chooses.

Whats holding me up? Well I have to get over to Pratie Place and find Melinama's post about embedding Hello pictures in a text post. Failing that it'll be a long trawl through all the whizz bang special effects at Mandarin, but I aim to start this week.

(Anyone with a suitably monosyllabic idiot guide already available re: uploading pictures, please share!)

Update: DOH! Don't need Hello, if I link to the pictures on the web, Heres how.

Have They Opened The Bloody Floodgates?

I know some think I got too involved in the Terri Schiavo case. Thats fine, you go ahead and think that.

Now read this one, please:

April 06, 2005

Shiavo case Redux in Georgia: Mae Magouirk…not comatose,not vegetative,not terminal, BEING STARVED AND DEHYDRATED TO DEATH (Update)

Please propagate throughout the Internet!

UPDATE 1(noticed question in comments about authentication): This was confirmed by lengthy telephone call before it was posted. I personally spoke with Kenneth Mullinax, and have more details than has been posted. We do need to seek copies of court documents for posting

From: The Family of Mae Magouirk
To: BlogsForTerri and their readers
Subject: Family Seeking Help From BFT Bloggers and Media
April 6, 2005

Contact: Kenneth Mullinax Ph: 205-408-7598

Why is Hospice LaGrange, Ga. withholding nourishment?

Mae Magouirk is being withheld nourishment and fluids and the Provisions of her Living Will are not being honored at the Hospice-LaGrange, (1510 Vernon Street, LaGrange “Troup County” Georgia, (706-845-3905) a subsidiary of the LaGrange Hospital in LaGrange Georgia.

Her family is desperately seeking to save her life before she dies of malnourishment and dehydration.

Mae Magouirk IS NOT comatose and she IS NOT vegetative. She is not terminal!

Despite these facts the Hospice and Beth Gaddy (706-882-9124), a school teacher at LaGrange’s Calloway Middle School and granddaughter of Mae Magouirk(who according to "heresay," may have been mismanaging funds of the 85 yr-old woman) have been denying her proactive nourishment or fluids (via a nose administered feeding tube or fluids via an IV) since March 28 without prior legal consent; against the wishes of her Living Will and against the wishes of Mae Magouirk’s closest living next of kin. Mae Magouirk’s next of kin are: Mr. A. B. McLeod (Her Brother 256-236-1331) and Mrs. Lonnie Ruth Mullinax (Her sister 205-408-7598) both of nearby Anniston, Alabama.

Under Georgia law, unless a medical durable power of attorney is in place, your closest living next of kin are stipulated to make all medical decisions. When Mae Magouirk’s closest living next of kin lodged a complaint with Hospice LaGrange’s in-house attorney Carol Todd (706-882-1411) last Thursday, March 31, Ms. Todd checked Mae Magouirk’s case file and upon examination of both documents discovered that Beth Gaddy DID NOT have the durable medical power of attorney for Mae Magouirk and upon closer examination of Mae Magouirk’s Living Will ascertained that fluids and nourishment were ONLY TO BE WITHHELD if she was either comatose or vegetative.


Nor is Mae Magouirk terminally ill. Her local LaGrange, Ga. cardiologist, Dr. James Brennan (706-812-4308) and Dr. Raed Aqel, (205-934-9999) a highly acclaimed interventional cardiologist at the nationally renowned University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center have determined that Mae Magouirk’s aortic dissection is contained and not presently life threatening.

Two weeks ago, Mae Magouirk’s aorta had a dissection and she was hospitalized in the LaGrange Hospital in LaGrange, Ga. Her aortic problem was at first determined to be severe and she was admitted in the intensive care Unit. Her granddaughter, Beth Gaddy, a teacher at the Calloway Middle School in LaGrange, stated that she held Mae Magouirk’s medical power of attorney and thus invoked said powers against the wishes of Mae Magouirk’s closest living next of kin by having her moved to Hospice-LaGrange. While at Hospice-LaGrange, Beth Gaddy stated that her wishes were for no nourishment for Mae Magouirk v Probate Judge Donald Boyd (706) 883-1690)…
Court CASE NUMBER: Estate 138-05

Attorney for saving Mae’s life: Jack Kirby, Kirby & Roberts, (706) 884-2992***


06 April 2005

I'm Smug!

Today I am oh-so-super pleased with myself.

I took a chance and re-promoted a poem I did on Fanstory, and it gained a couple of extra reviews for being visible again.

This was enough to bring it to the overnight attention of the Committee and I woke up this morning to an email telling me it had been awarded an 'All Time Best' ribbon. My first!

These ribbons aren't as super-duper as all that, but they are awarded to less than five percent of the work on the site and top 5% sounds pretty brilliant to me (even as a sour little voice in my head points out thats only the same as being one in twenty.)

Hey ho.

It was a contest piece, and for that my first acrostic. Anyway, now I know its 'half good ish' and I am feeling, as I say, SMUG, I am going to inflict it on you, below.

By all means think it is total crap - thats fine, but if you think you could do better, pop over to Fanstory and enter the contest - to my mind pitting myself against really excellent competition is the only way I can improve. Its all good.


Inconsequential words and lives, can such as these exist?
Nonsensical, unnecessary, never seen nor missed?
Cruel fate, to brand one human life unwanted by the whole,
Obsolescent to the world, an isolated soul.
No hopes or dreams could long survive damnation's bitter dart.
Suffocating silently, an indurated heart
Eventually concedes defeat, prepares to always fail,
Questioning no longer how this horror could prevail.
Unstitching every wishful thought, unpicking every prayer
Expunging self-respect until there's nothing to repair.
No longer recognising they were once as you or me;
This cruel word becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you and I should disagree, in anything at all
Ask God that neither one of us should ever feel so small
Lest one should burn and one, unwanted, shrivel to the pall.

Hints: (because this seems to have worked) - pick a nice long word because it gives you more room to get to the point. Double the length of your lines for the same reason - more word choices when you have lots of space for syllables

BTW: - YES I know I've got one cruel pronounced 'crule' and one 'cru-el'. I might make the second one vicious instead. You think?

05 April 2005


Given a sudden and possibly fleeting affirmation that continuity is the key (much in the same way that 42 is the answer), I decided it was imperative to create a post today before wrenching myself from the computer and doing the ever-more-urgent 'real stuff'.

"Whats an easy cop-out?" thinks I.
"A Joke!" me answers, as the hairs on my palms start to itch.

End result: two hours surfing jeeves looking for something suitably witty and amusing, to no effect, a loss of temper and enthusiasm and this bloody miserable ranting entry.

I did find a couple of fitting thoughts for the day:

- As I let go of my feelings of guilt, I can get in touch with my Inner Sociopath.

- I have the power to channel my imagination into ever-soaring levels of suspicion and paranoia.

- I honour my personality flaws, for without them I would have no personality at all.

- Joan of Arc heard voices too.

- I am grateful that I am not as judgmental as all those censorious, self-righteous people around me.

- I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper and complain.

- All of me is beautiful and valuable, even the ugly, stupid, and disgusting parts.

- I am at one with my duality.

- Blessed are the flexible, for they can tie themselves into knots.

- Only a lack of imagination saves me from immobilizing myself with imaginary fears.

- Does my quiet self-pity get to me? Yes? Or should I move up to incessant nagging?

- Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so."

- False hope is nicer than no hope at all.

- A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the problem.

- The complete lack of evidence is the surest sign that the conspiracy is working.

- I am learning that criticism is not nearly as effective as sabotage.

- To have a successful relationship I must learn to make it look like I'm giving as much as I'm getting.

Enjoy xx

04 April 2005


This is the best funny I could find on the web today.

Some men, I am sure, will look at it and just think 'neat trick', but what gets me is that this girl does aerial acrobatics and generally displays SKILL, but the men seem too busy congratulating themselves to even notice that, nor even that she whacked the back of her head on the way back down.

"The woman did some fancy moves? Yeah sure but look what we did! We rock!"

I can imagining her staggering out of shot before throwing up and even then I doubt they'd notice unless they slipped in it.


03 April 2005


I am typing this one-handed because my left hand has got itself firmly stuck across my mouth and refuses to move.

This is an emotional/psychological auto-response to the following link, gifted to me by my dear but bizarre friend The Axeman (yay Axey baby, another plug).

Anyway this is his 'sense of humour'. It looks like a kiddies' programme, it isn't.

Sit tight and only push this link if you are sure you can handle it..................

02 April 2005

My Ten Year Old

Living with a kid with Aspergers causes as much stress for him as it does for me. Somehow I feel inferior, and I struggle to keep a veil of parental interest across my face whilst he lectures me on his latest theory.
God alone knows where they come from.

In the past two weeks he has come back to me, time and again, with his developing theories (which seem to work themselves out in the back of his head whilst real life goes on regardless) about:

  1. Liver cells re-grow. You can lose a bit of healthy liver and (he tells me, I don't know) it will grow back. So he wants to identify and extract the gene and use it to allow people to re-grow limbs.
  2. Fingernails might snap under pressure but they are quite strong and flexible, so he wants to design a way to allow skin to take on some of the properties of fingernails, to resist injury.
  3. This one is his pet project, because its just for fun and not for saving lives (he's hot on saving lives and sometimes it gives him a headache) : black holes are supposed to be gateways to other dimensions (actually he called them something much more scientific, but I forget) so he wants to harness that, design them, and make it so you can step in at this end and out in China. We had a big discussion about whether you would need a really weak field or a really small hole, to achieve that.
Oh yes, and we also had an argument about whether spaceships would need to be anti-gravity or impervious to gravity, ie function in a non magnetic fashion to start with; the differences between speed and manouverability in a vacuum and in gravity and whether the vacuum is really a vacuum or whether its really thin gravity because otherwise why don't all the planets just wobble off. Or something like that.

Anyway, thats what a genius, dyslexic Aspergers kid does with his easter holidays, behind and in between watching Ed Edd & Eddie, beating up his sister, enjoying the satire and irony in Buck Rogers or The Simpsons (you know, the adult political stuff), beating up his little sister and playing adult computer games (they have to be adult - he's too good at them). Just for fun, you understand. Well maybe for fun, I suspect its a life-long obsessive concern for the safety of not just the human race, but individuals, but one that he senses it's advisable to dress down. He has a big heart and big plans. I wonder where he'll be in ten years.

Terri Schiavo: Farewell

This was my banner. It sat half way down my sidebar for ages. It feels so, so strange, to be removing it now.

If theres another one, for bringing some of the 'main players' to justice, you can bet your life I'll carry it.

If you hear of one, let me know.

01 April 2005

Can you see my head swell?

No not like that, I'm female, and thats one extra gizmo they havent built in to strapadictomies yet, to my limited knowledge.

I 'took up' writing last November, when I came across NaNoWriMo, half way through. My first effort was pretty awful - theres a good story in there, but the name of the game is to write thousands of words inside the month and then tidy it up afterward.

First thing I did, having never written enough, was to join FanStory in December and start posting chapters.

Lets say they came in for some serious criticism, almost all meant well and expressed kindly, but hey, sentences too long, paragraphs too long, punctuation up the spout etc etc.

So I started putting other bits and bobs on the site. Stupidly, as poetry, I dug up stuff I had done ages ago. You know what its like - in the middle of a four year dry spell, something inspires you to be poetic. And you sweat over it, and its your baby, and it stinks.

Anyhow the competitions were fun - handy for people of limited imagination like myself to have a picture, or a first line, with instructions.

I didnt want to blow my own trumpet this month (what, more penile innuendo?) but I have been in the shortlist for the past four contests for poetry or short stories.

Nowhere near the winner ( more like bottom) but hey, the judges, aka the site owners who have sifted mountains of work in their time, saw fit to shortlist me. I am seriously honoured.

Whoop-doop-di-doo!!!!! I popped into the site this evening and they have shortlisted one of my works for Short Story of the Month!!!!!!!

All those brilliant writers in there and I get picked! There are fewer works on the short list than there are on the daily list of top new publications, so its fair to say that they think my work counts as 1 in 30 if not 1 in 60, to make it this far.

I am Sooooooo bloody chuffed.

So here's the story.

P.S. I just re-read it. As luck, or my character flaws would have it, I have gone right off it and am itching to do a re-write. Typical. Whether you love it, hate it or just don't get it, if you do read the lot, then I would be really grateful for a quick comment.

3am - Almost Home

Freezing cold and drunk as a skunk, I am doing the sensible thing and ploughing forward through the snowy city streets toward home, as if I have a purpose. It is bitterly, viciously cold and the glower I wear is only half affected, although it helps to complete the image and keep me safe.

Indoors, at John's house, I only knew that the evening was mellow, that I was in good spirits and that the port was delicious. Now, out here in the frost, I realise I am thoroughly pickled because my limbs are fluid and flexible. My face, though frosted with new snow, has a warmth in the cheeks that defends the bone. Hat? Yes, I could probably have done with a hat, but I'll live.

This is getting me far too many concerned glances from couples taking their time after cosy nights out, but the task now, alone as I am on the seedier edge of London, is to stride forward with a purpose. It helps to be viewed as someone local and streetwise and therefore discarded as potential victim by the con-artists, gigolos and druggies looking for the price of a MacDonald's hot chocolate, or maybe a score or a fumble.

The scowl of deep thought is my saviour, although the most I can manage is to concentrate on walking in a straight line fast, on making sure I am still heading in the right direction. There are snowflakes on my teeth, that's annoying.

Thank God for this Crombie, solid ancient wool, the pride of an old man's wardrobe consigned to the back of a second hand shop and spotted and claimed by frugal, clever me. The lining, pure silk, may be dropping off out of old age, but the thick, weathered wool still does its job. My toes are numb, my bare calves also, but my chest is warm and safe, my throat protected from the scorching ravages of evil weather.

Oh God, why won't my tear ducts work? I am grateful for this steadfast, bulldog attitude, but the child, the woman inside me wants to cry, so hard. So far to walk, six or seven miles, in this damned snow storm. Every bench I pass, every warm and welcoming light from long closed stores, all make me want to stop a while, but I dare not. It will be 3am before I reach home even at this rate. I don't ever want to see him again, but can't believe he hasn't got into his car to make sure I am all right. I am sticking to the longer, safer main-road route, why hasn't he come looking? I hope he's OK.

An hour ago now, just when the last bus had gone, when the train station was locked up, tucked up for the night, he had told me it was all over. He timed it, I think, to try and guarantee 'one for the road', or a snuggle and a cuddle and 'good vibes' in the morning, I don't know.

I don't care, either, damn him. I suspect he wanted to force the break-up into civility, into the path of minimum guilt, where he could convince himself it was mutual, darned sleaze ball coward, he wanted to have his cake and eat it. Then again, if he is so intent on saving face, on keeping his gentlemanly reputation, why isn't he here? Where is the warmth of his car? Where is the brotherly affection he swore, like some booby prize, always to hold for me?

My legs are not so cold now, though they probably ought to be. They don't feel assaulted like they did when I set out, more like lead. I dare not stop walking, nor even change my pace because I doubt anything keeps me moving forward any longer, other than momentum.

I have crossed the river. Two towns to go, and the tourist traps all behind me. No more pretty street lights, no fancy shops and restaurants. The dregs of humanity are mercifully absent, for if they were here, they would not be the last drunken revellers, well dressed and in couples, heading home to continue the romance of an exotic meal. They would be something else; the drunks and drug addicts, woken at last from alfresco slumber, or moved on from their corners; the disavowed and disappointed; people like me. Gutter trash.

Right now the gutter looks good, warm somehow, perhaps half a degree safer than the blast of icy wind at head height. Dirty nooks between phone boxes and office walls, where dust and grunge have settled and combined because the wind cannot sweep them, these look inviting. They make me hanker.

My God, but I downed that port. I must have known that something wasn't right, that I was losing my grip on reality no matter what, because I hid in its intoxicating fumes, guzzled them like a defence, or a suicide. How many glasses had I drunk after he told me? Why didn't he stop me? He was smiling. Bastard. I am paying for it now. I'm not entirely sure I should feel this woozy, just on port, when all's said and done. It's a silly thought, I have only known him two or three weeks, but no, he wouldn't have, I'm certain.

I am just so tired. I don't want this any more, and I doubt I can do it, either. Even as my rational mind is fired onward through fury and indignation, through hurt and surprise, my strength is so completely used that I want to cry again. The five-year-old side of me is winning now, cold beyond cold and out the other side, into stiff but warm incapacity and wailing, teeth-gritting defiance. She wants to stop, demands to shut these eyes and sleep, until this weather is all gone away. Better to take the shortcut, across the fields; sticking to the roads I just know I won't make it.

Willing my legs to keep moving doesn't seem to work so well any more, this is painful. There are no doorways here, no bus shelters or phone booths. In fact there's only half a mile or so to go, I can see the lights of the houses, but near enough is good enough, it will have to be. The hedge seems a good enough shelter, yes, it is, it rocks and cajoles me like a mother to its child; I swear that as we meet and meld, I do not stoop. Simply the world revolves around me and there is no up or down. This is peace, this is comfort.

I don't need to close my eyes any more. The snow is so pretty, settling on my legs and on my tongue. This is warmth, and this is home; this is as far as I go.

I think there must have been something else, back at John's, something more than the alcohol, to make it impossible to leave. But I did it, oh yes, I walked out on him and that is my triumph. Shame my temper only carried me so far, but that's life. I wonder if he'll ever know, or care?


Senryu, 5-7-5

Now that I am gone,
Whisper to me in the dark
And I will hear you.